The following morning I set off on the short but hugely uncomfortable 10km cycle to Mel’s. The reason for this discomfort was a disgusting cyst I seemed to have developed on the inside of my left bum cheek. I don’t have any idea why it was there, but it sure was, and every time I hit a bump it was like, “oh, hi there”.
Mel was a friend from University, and I had met her in my first year at Leeds University when she was over on exchange. When I arrived at her place we hugged and I was introduced to the adorable and hyper-excitable Preston. Preston expended more energy than a jumbo jet and was brimming with personality.
On the Saturday, we went to a big volleyball event. It seemed awesome, but I was tired and feeling a little off, so I didn’t enjoy it all that much. However, we followed it up with a beautiful swim at quiet little beach across the water, drank some beer, and all was good again. In the evening we went for drinks at bar with a few of Mel’s friends where, for our own amusement, we watched scantily clad birthday girl struggle with her dress.
Sunday brought a minor hangover, as well as more than a few nerves about Monday’s appointment with the doctor regarding my hand. I did my best to take my mind off it, and spent the evening with Renee, her boyfriend Eric, and her friends Gen and Renee, in town. We had a few drinks at the flat (mine were courtesy of the very generous Gen) and then went to a light show they were running down at parliament. The show itself was spectacular, but it was, in all seriousness, the most blatant show of unashamed patriotism I had seen since flipping through my friend’s American passport. It was getting pretty close to propaganda. The show started innocuously enough, before gradually cranking up to stories of how great Canada was, before culminating in this: “If the world was a body, which part would Canada be?”, followed by 20 people saying, “the heaaart”, backed by a crescendoing rendition of the national anthem, “Oh, Canada”. Worst of all was seeing that the old couple sat next to me had tears in their eyes. Barf.